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Centre for Healthcare Operations Improvement & Research (CHOIR)

Supporting healthcare institutions to increase their service quality while simultaneously decrease costs.

CHOIR website

Prof. dr. Richard Boucherie, Prof. dr. Erwin Hans


Like in many countries, the healthcare institutions in the Netherlands are facing major challenges. Healthcare expenditures are increasing every year, the public is demanding higher quality of care, the population is ageing, the range of treatments is greater now than ever before and still growing. When combined, these factors contribute to increasing demand and considerably more complex care processes. The work pressures in healthcare institutions are rising and the zeal to work in healthcare is declining.

A healthcare institution is a professional organization where professionals are responsible for the design and quality of the process. When comparing healthcare institutions with industry we see that in the last decades industry has been capable of delivering products with improved quality, for lower prices and with a higher diversity. Product and process innovations are essential for modern companies. Falling behind is simply not an option for today’s companies. It is apparent that competition and free markets have contributed to these developments, especially in light of competition from Japan. With the current opening of markets in the former communist countries, mainly China, new incentives arise for companies to improve themselves even further. Considering these spectacular developments in industry, it is not coincidental that Dutch society has called for more competition and (semi-)free markets in healthcare. The Dutch government has recently changed the national healthcare system by introducing a limited form of competition. The next years will tell us whether hospitals will be able to manage their institutions in this new system, all the while, decreasing costs, improving quality and increasing innovation.

Research agenda and scientific goals

The research of CHOIR supports healthcare institutions in their efforts to increase the quality of services while simultaneously decrease costs. New business process technologies help healthcare institutions provide high-quality care, combined with continuous innovation, at minimal costs. Examples are the development and application of information technology and the optimization of logistical processes with state-of-the-art mathematical modelling and computer simulation. These business process improvements often result in lower work pressure and higher employee retention.

CHOIR is a multidisciplinary collaboration, representing the following research areas:

  • Operations research / Decision Theory
  • Logistics and operations management
  • Purchase management
  • Information technology and management
  • Quality and safety management

The researchers involved have a broad expertise, originating from a tradition of research and innovation in industry, transportation and ICT. In the last decade a new focus on healthcare has come into being, not only in research but also in education.

Core researchers

Prof. Dr. Richard Boucherie - Stochastic Operations Research  
Stochastic Operations Research (SOR)

Prof. Dr. Erwin Hans - Operations Management in Healthcare
Dr. Ingrid Vliegen - Operations Management
Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems (IEBIS)